Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food, is a great source to use to define Real Food. Pollan's books are very well researched and he makes some very valid points concerning our diet and food choices. I also loved his book, The Omnivores Dilemma, it was an eye-opener to learn about our food production. In fact, there is a young reader's copy in my name in the Eisenhower Middle School, Freehold Township, NJ, that I requested when I retired from teaching Family and Consumer Sciences. We all need to learn more about the ingredients and additives that are in our food. Once we become more aware, we can make choices on whether or not we want to consumer them regularly. There is a lot of information about the food atrocities that have come about since the middle of the 21st century. Processed food is really unrecognizable as Real Food. Pollan calls them "edible food-like substances". They can include additives that we cannot even pronounce let alone understand how they metabolize in the body.
Today, what was once Real Food is steamed, pressed, isolated, manipulated, and over- processed. Consumers seem to want convenient, fast, and tasty food that keeps them out of the kitchen. Food choices do not seem to be related to health. Additives are added to improve appearance and shelf life, and to artificially improve flavor. Manufactured additives are also added to improve nutrition by artificially adding back the nutrients that were removed in the food processing. High levels of sugar, fat, and sodium are leading to a pandemic of obesity. I was appalled when I learned that the major processed food giants are also owners of the big weight loss companies such as Weight Watchers and Slim fast. Talk about a vicious cycle! Processed food manufacturers are very aware of what the negative effects of eating increased processed foods.
So what should we eat? Food that resembles what the food looked like when it originated in nature. Apple pie is not a substitute for a fresh apple and french fries are not the same as a baked potato. It does take an immense amount of time to do all of your own food preparation yet it is the only way you know what you are actually eating. We have many conveniences that can help us make meal planning a little easier such as buying and cooking in bulk and freezing foods. There are more and more healthy and organic choices found in supermarkets, you have to search them out. Many processed foods advertise that they are healthy and contain some of the nutrient buzz words but if you read the labels.....
This summer I will be wrtiting about where we get our food as we try hard to limit our time in a supermarket. We belong to a CSA and pick up veggies every week starting in June. We love to get veggies from Buried Treasures Organic Farm in Groton as well. We will be vending at the Skaneteles Farmers Market and the Hamilton Farmers Markets on Thursdays and Saturdays and you will get some sneak peaks of what is available. We get our meat from Bottomland Farm and Cobblestone Valley Farm. If you like recipes, I will be sharing about what I am making and hope to get some new recipes and ideas from readers too! If you have suggestions on how to improve this my blog, I am always open....this is my first real attempt to do this consistently.